Thirteen. That is how many freshmen are on Colorado Mesa University’s women’s soccer team for their 2017 season. Thirteen new faces and new styles to mesh with the returners from last season.
“They are all good,” Head coach Jason Clare said. “[…] Hopefully they will be ready when they are called upon and they can do their job.”
These new faces are joining a program that has improved its win total each of the last two seasons under Clare after going 1-13-4 in his first season. They finished last season with a 9-7-2 record, which qualified them to compete in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) tournament.
Those new faces will be joining many returners from last year’s squad.
“We have brought a lot of players that were part of the successes last year [back], so we are going to call upon their experiences and what they have already achieved to make sure that they repeat that this year,” Clare said.
Repeating the team’s success this year is one of the many goals they have to start off the season.
“I think every year you just want to be better than you were last year. And, so first of all, that is our main goal: Is can we maintain what we did last year and then obviously be better?” Clare said.
The Mavericks will look to continue to play like they did in the final five regular season games, where the team finished 4-1.
“We just have to keep our hunger, keep our fire going all the way through and hopefully we can progress further than last year,” Clare said.
Even over the short amount of time the team has been together, bonds and connections have started to form both on and off the pitch.
“This year our team has been really close, which is really new for our team,” senior Amanda Wenzel said. “Just having this closeness has really helped.”
Wenzel is one of three seniors on this year’s squad, and with how the team finished out the 2016 season they cannot wait to get back out and compete.
“We start next Thursday against Humboldt and that is our response game,” Clare said. “So that is what we had last year where if we didn’t play well or we didn’t get the result we were hoping for, then the next game was all about that response and coming back. So, Humboldt is our bounce back game and we want to set this season off on a good note.”
The rest of the RMAC has to start getting ready because the Mavericks believe that this team is on the rise.
“Everybody better prepare, because we are coming,” Wenzel said.